America is answering China's missile supremacy by planning to deploy—you guessed it—a lot more missiles. Reuters reports that the Pentagon wants to arm Marines with Tomahawk cruise missiles and hasten a rare order of long-range anti-ship missiles, all to counter China's lead in land-based ballistic and cruise missiles. Another goal is to even out China's advantage in the so-called "range war"—missiles that can fly farther than America's or those of its Asian allies. China's military, the People's Liberation Army, stocked up because it wasn't party to a Cold War treaty that restrained the US and Russia. But President Trump left that treaty last year. "The Americans are coming back strongly," says an ex-defense official in Australia.
"By 2024 or 2025 there is a serious risk for the PLA that their military developments will be obsolete," he adds. But China responded to Reuters with a stern message, saying Washington is stuck on "its Cold War mentality" and should "stop moving chess pieces around" the Asia-Pacific. For Washington, the issue is China's increasing military pressure on Taiwan and around the South China Sea. The Sunday Times reports that Beijing, which claims nearly the whole area, has stood up to Malaysian oil drillers and reportedly "expelled" a US warship (which Washington denied). Jack Keane, an unofficial Trump adviser, says China wants to "hammer home their message that the US no longer has the status it used to have in that part of the world." (Read more US-China relations stories.)